I have grown very fond of grinding up liver in my Magic Bullet (you could also use a Food Processor or a Manual Meat Grinder) and mixing it with ground beef in any heavily seasoned recipe (try it with my paleo tacos). I love that the liver is there (I usually use either a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of liver to ground beef), adding valuable nutrition to my meal, but my family loves the fact that they can’t taste the liver at all (this is especially true if you use a mild liver like lamb’s, calf’s, or chicken). So of course, meatloaf seemed like a great opportunity to incorporate more liver into our meals.
People either love or hate meatloaf. I think the dislike of meatloaf stems from traditional recipes so full or oatmeal or bread crumbs or sugar that the flavor of the meat is completely lost. Paleo meatloaf recipes tend to have little to no fillers, so the flavor and spices can really shine through. This recipe is heavily seasoned enough to mask the liver flavor but mild enough that you still get that delicious meaty taste. I definitely recommend using fresh herbs here if you can. I also measure my herbs after they are chopped. I also recommend mixing the meat and spices ahead of time and letting them sit in your fridge for a few hours for the flavors to combine. If you’re pressed for time, you can skip this step, but otherwise, it’s definitely worthwhile.
This recipe also happens to be egg-free because the binder isn’t really needed. You may add egg or flaxseed meal if you like to get a bit denser meatloaf, but it isn’t necessary. I also avoided the use of tomatoes because I don’t tolerate them well (and they really aren’t missed here at all). If you like, you can serve this meatloaf with some organic, no sugar added ketchup on the side (I buy mine at Whole Foods but I also really like the recipe from Eat Like a Dinosaur). You can also make this recipe autoimmune protocol-friendly by omitting the flax meal/egg, the cayenne and paprika (which is how I normally make it). Serves 6-8.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound liver
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2-3 Tbsp tallow (or you could use extra virgin coconut oil)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- 3 Tbsp fresh basil
- 3 Tbsp fresh oregano (or use about 1½ Tbsp Dried Oregano)
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (or use about ½ Tbsp Dried Whole Leaf Thyme)
- 1 Tbsp fresh chives
- 2 tsp Paprika (optional, leave out if you don’t eat nightshades)
- 1 tsp Fennel Seed
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional, leave out if you don’t eat nightshades)
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
- 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- Optional: either ¼ cup Flaxseed Meal or 2 eggs (for a denser loaf)
1. Chop onion, celery and carrot as finely as you have the patience for. Heat tallow (or coconut oil) in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté until soft and starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Finely chop parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, and chives. Crush garlic. Grind fennel seeds in an herb grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle (I use my Magic Bullet).
3. Grind liver in a Magic Bullet, Food Processor or Meat Grinder (you can also always ask your butcher to grind it or you can chop it into very small pieces manually). Liver has alot of liquid in it, so don’t be surprised if you end up with something that is more like a puree than a grind.
4. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together very thoroughly (I find it easiest to just get my hands in there). Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours and up to overnight to let the flavors combine.
5. Preheat oven to 350F.
6. Press meat mixture into a large Loaf Pan. If you’re worried about juices spilling over, place the loaf pan on a cookie sheet or in a larger baking pan before placing in the oven.
7. Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160F.
8. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving (the juices are really yummy with some mashed cauliflower!). Enjoy!